Sprint finally accepts Android

Despite Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse claiming Android is not good enough for the Sprint name, they are ready to welcome an Android-powered handset sometime in the next year.  Looks like someone is eating his words and coming back with his tail between his legs, contradicting himself less than two months after making the statement that Android is ”not good enough to put the Sprint brand on it.” Last time I head Sprint was seeing substantial losses while Google is seeing tremendous growth. Sprint executives are closely monitoring the progress of the T-Mobile G1 and waiting for the right time to “pull the trigger." After sustaining a loss of almost 3 million customers in a single year, Sprint must look beyond what they are currently doing (putting down Android) and open up to new ideas. Taking on a new platform such as Android could really help them out in this time of need.
"We've just got to make sure our customers are saying, 'If you had a phone like this, man, I would really be more interested in Sprint because of it,' " Packingham said. "You want to go out with a bang, because you believe that your investment is one that's going to generate a lot of return with customers -- new customers. That's what our shareholders are looking for.”
Many happy Sprint customers would hate making the jump to another carrier for an Android-powered handset, but if Sprint does not produce one, some of the 50.5 million customers may have no choice. Chief Service Officer Bob Johnson said that Sprint may close as many as 20 call centers next year to help the company recuperate. [Via Seattlypi]

Please welcome Loopt to the Android Market

The very popular social networking application, Loopt has officially made its way to the Android Market. This is one application that we have been waiting for since the launch on the T-Mobile G1. Now you can spy on all of your friend and see where they are and what they are up to without having to ask. Loopt allows you to keep track of your friends, where they are and what they are doing. You can share you location between carriers with Loopt users on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Boost, MetroPCS and T-Mobile. Loopt is available on over 100 handsets including the iPhone and BlackBerry so all your friends can stay connected.
“From the start, our goal has been to build a ubiquitous interoperable network in which customers don’t have to worry about who has what provider or mobile device,” said Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Loopt. “
Loopt for Android will offer all of the current core features you would expect to find in other versions, including background location updating which enables users to receive alerts when a friend is nearby. You can also view your friend’s location in satellite view or map mode as well as monitor traffic delays. Loopt also allows you to share you information with social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter or personal blogs and Web sites.

Visa Mobile Application hits the Android Market; may not be as secure as you think

Back in September we reported that the Visa Mobile Application was being created as the first financial application for Android. It has been a while but they managed to push it to the Android Market in hopes that it would get some use for the holiday season. With the Visa Mobile Application you can track your card transactions as they happen, to better keep track of your own expenses. With alerts you will know instantly when someone else is using your credit card. This feature is a must in today’s world with all of the credit card and identity fraud going on. If you delete this application you must text the word “STOP” to MVISA in order to discontinue text notifications. This application also gives you many special coupon offers both online and on your handset. Visa Mobile Application even gives you location information where you can redeem offers. As with most Visa services there is always the fine print to watch out for. If you tear through the Terms of Service you will find one very unassuming line that could very well make you turn around and never look back. This line reads, “unfortunately, no data transmission via a mobile handset can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.” It just sound to me like Visa is trying to keep them selves from any liability T-Mobile may place on them due to security issues.

Sony Ericsson Android by summer 2009?

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the 14 new additions to the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), most of which comes back to one manufacturer, Sony Ericsson. We are surprised that not too many people have been talking about the laptop manufacturers Toshiba and Asus who have just joined. With the release of the popular (and expensive) Xperia X1, Ericsson shows a lot of potential for high-end Android-powered handsets. We all know that those who are looking for open source want anything but your average run of the mill phone. Sony Ericsson spokesman, Garfield Brusewitz said, “We expect initially to focus on products in the higher segment, but later on we will also supplement with products for the broad mass market.” They do not plan to focus just on Android however, much effort will be placed in Symbian and Windows Mobile. Investing in Android early on would be a very wise decision as it is still very small and possesses plenty of potential. Ericsson believes that Android in the future will be important to be a part of their lineup. Ericsson plans to release a series of Android-powered handsets, the first of which will launch around summer of 2009. [Via IDG]

Data Viz brings office solution to Android in 2009

Data Viz has announced that they are going to be developing Documents To Go and RoadSync for Android in 2009. DataViz is a long time provider of mobile software applications that enable document access and mobile email. After spending over 10 years developing marketing solutions for Palm OS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Java, Linux and BlackBerry, Data Viz has taken on the challenge of the growing Google Android market.  Documents To Go mobile office suite allows users to view, edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Users can also view PDF files with Documents To Go. RoadSync syncs with Outlook email, calendar, contacts and tasks using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. There are still no details as to what features the Android version will have, but if you would like to be the first to know you may subscribe to the newsletter at www.dataviz.com/android.

T-Mobile makes official comment on international roaming issue

Just the other day we reported that a user was charged a ridiculous amount of money for data roaming when his data was turned off, even after being assured that he would be ok. It appears that this has caught T-Mobile’s attention and they have come fourth with an official response. The option to turn off data should work fine, but that’s not always the case as any third party application can then override this basic phone feature whenever it chooses. This then brings us back to the initial problem of not being able to kill background processes on the T-Mobile G1. From the horse's mouth: "Some third-party applications available for download on Android Market require access to the internet and have the ability to turn on data roaming when in use. Customers are informed whether an application will use this feature prior to downloading, but should also be aware when traveling outside the country."
Official T-Mobile statement: T-Mobile is committed to delivering the best experience in wireless to our customers. If a T-Mobile customer would like to use their T-Mobile G1 while outside the country, they should contact Customer Care before they leave to ask that the WorldClass feature be added to their service at no additional charge. If they choose, customers can also disable data roaming on the G1. This can be done by going through the following steps: Home Screen > Menu > Settings > Wireless Controls > Mobile Networks > Data Roaming. Some third party applications available for download on Android Market require access to the Internet and have the ability to turn on data roaming when in use. Customers are informed whether an application will use this feature prior to downloading, but should also be aware when traveling outside the country. [Via EngadgetMobile]

Get Android running on your HTC Touch

I’m sure all of you are as eager to see Android get ported to other handsets as we are. So far we have not seen to much work as far as running Android on new handsets, but that has just changed. We have all seen the videos of Android running on the HTC Touch, but how did they do it? For all of you who are fans of the new HTC Touch one user has just come up with a way to run Android on the vastly popular device. From what we can see it works pretty well, custom on-screen keyboard and all. Right now there are still some issues scaling the UI to QVGA and the GPS, Bluetooth and USB still do not work. Anyone with an HTC Touch can give it a try. Think of it as a port, this will not mess up your handset or completely kick any of your settings. Just reset your device to bring back Windows Mobile. For those willing to try, the instructions can be found here. Now given the instructions who is going to take the plunge? [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iKje_0lUYg[/youtube] [Via XDADevelopers]

The Open Handset Alliance adds 14 new members to help develop Android

The Open Handset Alliance is very pleased to announce the addition of 14 supporting companies. The members of the Open Handset Alliance show their support for Android as an open mobile platform. We can expect these companies to further develop Android handsets and services. The new members include, AKM Semiconductor Inc., ARM, ASUSTek Computer Inc., Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International Inc., Huawei Technologies, Omron Software Co. Ltd, Softbank Mobile Corporation, Sony Ericsson, Teleca AB, Toshiba Corporation and Vodafone. Many companies overseas have jumped onboard a little later than we had expected. These new members will develop Android-powered handsets, contribute significant code to the open source project, or support the “ecosystem” by providing supporting services. We are really glad to see Ericsson and Vodafone among others joining the Open Handset Alliance. Who we really would like to see Nokia jump on board with handsets comparable to their N-series.

New AdWords options now for available T-Mobile G1

Today, the Google mobile ads team has announced a new option that allows those of us who are AdWords advertisers to your desktop text and image ads on the T-Mobile G1, or any device that has a full HTML browser. These adds will have many of the same benefits as the standard mobile ads, such as the delivery of mobile-specific calls-to-action and reaching mobile users that are searching with their phones more than ever. You may have seen these ads running on the G1 already because Google Search on this device results pages that are modified specifically for this phone. Now advertisers will be able to have ads exclusively on the mobile devices of their choice, create campaigns for them, and get separate performance reporting. The good news is you can opt out of these ads and they will only appear on your computer. To disable these ads that target your phone just go to your campaign settings tab in your AdWords account. Navigate to Networks and Bidding and find Device Platform and select "iPhones and other mobile devices with full internet browsers." Note that if you are currently running Google’s mobile ads, this new option for desktop ads will not affect your campaign. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4R-wF6sdDg&eurl=http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2008/12/new-adwords-options-for-iphone-and-g1.html&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] [Via GoogleBlog]

Turn your regular T-Mobile G1 into a developers edition

Those of us who already have a T-Mobile G1 or do not have the money for the developers edition and would like to have one, will love what we found. The bootloader for the developers edition G1 is finally out and is making its rounds. From what we hear, T-Mobile went ahead and gave a developers version of the G1 to a customer as a warranty replacement. With a little help from his friends, he managed to extract the unlocked bootloader from the phone and put it on the Internet. The best part is the process of converting your G1 is very simple. To start, just gain root access to your T-Mobile G1. Once you have done that all you have to do is download and apply the unlocked bootloader to your handset. Just turn on your phone while holding down the power and camera button and you will see the skateboarding Android instead of the usually boot screen.  Congratulations you now have a developers T-mobile G1. Be warned though that this may also brick your phone and we here at Android Community hold no responsibility for any damage this process may do to your T-Mobile G1. If this process is done wrong at all, YOUR PHONE WILL BE DEAD. With that said we would like to know how this process worked for you. [Via GotOnTheInter]
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